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Thread: Radiator Stop Leak? Anybody use it?

  1. #1

    Default Radiator Stop Leak? Anybody use it?

    See title. Very small leak, lost about from an inch below the "full" line to the "low" line in 3 weeks, driving about 60 miles a day. Its on the backside of the radiator, dont see any fluid, just dried up corrosion from fluid that leaks when I drive on the driver's top side all the way down to the bottom (where it dripped I guess), about 1/2" wide.

    In West Virginia for 3 more weeks doing rotations for school, didnt bring any tools, not really close to any shops, and I have to work all the time anyway since its kinda mandatory for school.

    I just need to squeeze 3 more weeks out of this thing until I get back home, send off my radiator to radiator barn and get me a new one.

    Now I know it might void the warranty - thats fine I guess, I really just dont want my radiator to blow going up a mountain road w/ a logging truck on my tail...

  2. #2

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    I would not have a problem using a good stop leak for your situation, just flush it really good when you fix it right in a few weeks. I have used Bar's Leaks in the past (have not looked for it in years!!), and friends swear by the very fine powdered metal type - heard it sealed up a radiator punched by a tree branch on a trail run last year. I would not consider it a permanent fix, especially wheeling where you flex things.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by rspears View Post
    I would not have a problem using a good stop leak for your situation, just flush it really good when you fix it right in a few weeks. I have used Bar's Leaks in the past (have not looked for it in years!!), and friends swear by the very fine powdered metal type - heard it sealed up a radiator punched by a tree branch on a trail run last year. I would not consider it a permanent fix, especially wheeling where you flex things.
    FWIW....a guy I used to work with, who was a mechanic for more years than I've been alive, had a buddy with a mid 60's corvette with a 427 in it. One day, they were messing around in the 'vette, doing burnouts, and his motor mount broke and allowed the fan to hit the radiator, busting a tube. He used the fine powdered metal type, just for ****s and giggles, and to his surpries, it sealed it. I think the guy ran it like that for a few months with no problems, so it's worth a try.

    Oh, and a big X2 on the good flush when you do get a chance to fix it.

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  4. #4

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    I have been warned to not to use a stop-leak, as the stuff doesn't know which is a bad flow (external) & which is a good flow (internal). I would hate to have my radiator cores getting clogged, personally.

    I would just keep the radiator topped off/full until I got home to my tool box.

    My

  5. #5
    Registered kizer's Avatar
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    Personally I wouldn't want foreign material floating around inside my engine. Top it off and order a new one.
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  6. #6
    Monkey Wrench! JWebber's Avatar
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    that stuff is bad news! problem down the road!

  7. #7
    Registered steelheader's Avatar
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    Fix it right all that stuff will do is gum up your complet cooling system. This was what I learned from a friend that owns a radiator shop he showed me what it will do its not pretty.
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  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=snosurfa7;7705720]
    I just need to squeeze 3 more weeks out of this thing until I get back home, send off my radiator to radiator barn and get me a new one.QUOTE]

    Stop leak is bad for the heater core.
    Replace the radiator with an OEM style one, unless you like replacing the radiator barn one often...IMO
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  9. #9
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    Black pepper for a short term solution.

    Wont hurt anything, and if the leaks are small enough it will seal it up, or at least slow it to acceptable.

    Good luck.
    2003 Blue Rubicon

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnine View Post
    Black pepper for a short term solution.

    Wont hurt anything, and if the leaks are small enough it will seal it up, or at least slow it to acceptable.

    Good luck.
    x2
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  11. #11

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    X3 on black pepper or you can also use a palm full of sawdust. Pour it in a warm engine and drive it for a while. It swells and plugs the hole. It will break down sooner or later, but will not harm anything.

    But for a perm fix, but a bottle of "Bar's Leak"s". They don't make anything any better than that. I have and seen it poured in more tractors, trucks, cars you name it. You want find a ranch or a farm in Texas that doesn't have several bottles of it in the shop and tool box.

    I have seen that stuff fix blown head gaskets, leaking water pumps, radiators, seeping/leaking freeze plugs, plastic, alum, brass and copper, it fixes it!

    Its been around since 1947!

    I have put it in the ranch trucks and tractors and traded/sold them 5-10 years later and never another problem.


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  12. #12

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    Thanks for the replies yall. Yeah, I heard you can actually use an egg white too, if anyone else is looking for "creative fixes."

    I just bought some JB weld just in case it gets a little worse. And I'm carrying an extra thing of coolant in the Jeep too. Until then I'm just gonna keep an eye on it, hope it works out alright.

    As for a new radiator, yeah I dont know what to do. I would go back to OEM since mine lasted about 110K. Radiator Barn = cheap junk agreed only about 35K out of it.

    But then again, OEM = $300!!! (jeepsareus.com) and radiator barn = free (hopefully).

    thanks

  13. #13
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    I used the clay like stuff to patch mine last summer. I was changing my belt when my wrench slipped knocking a nice hole in mine. The sealer I used worked fine, but it also blocked the core. That week it was stupid hot out and I over heated 2 or 3 times. I replaced mine with a 3 core all metal one for radiator barn and It only cost me about $200 maybe. It never gets hot now. I like the 3 core radiator I got. It cools better and is all metal, not half plastic like the factory one.


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  14. #14
    Registered phall92139's Avatar
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    I think all of the above is good advice...depending upon you particular situation, which usually has to do with cash flow versus coolant flow. Obviously, correctly repairing the leak or replaicing the radiator would be the best way to go. However, if you need a bandaid to hold you over until you can afford this, or if you were out in the sticks somewhere needing to get back to civilization, I'd certainly consider a temporary fix. A couple of the more popular brands are:



    and some info from thier FAXs page:

    3. How does Barís Leaks work? Barís Leaks will seal external, internal and coolant to oil leaks.

    Once installed, the Barís Leaks particles shrink up to 15 percent. On an external leak, the tiny particles flow to the point of the leak. They then collect at the outside of the seepage and build inward. Internal leaks, the Bars Leaks particles will burn when subjected to the 5000 degree heat of the combustion chamber to seal head gasket seepage and small cracks. On coolant to oil leaks, where coolant can seep into the crankcase contaminating the oil, the tiny Barís Leaks particles will seal the pores in cast iron and aluminum preventing seepage.

    4. How long does it take for the Barís Leaks to work?

    For most of our antifreeze compatible radiator products we recommend you drive/idle vehicle for 15 to 20 minutes. In most cases the leak will be sealed within this amount of time. If the leak is not sealed, a second application maybe required.

    5. Will Barís Leaks plug my heater core?

    No, the tiny particles will pass through a 24-gauge mesh screen which is the spec for the BIG 3 car/truck manufacturers. They say that any product installed in the cooling system must pass through this screen.

    Barís Leaks is the only stop leak to pass this test and to be approved by the vehicle manufacturers. Note: If using Barís Leaks to stop heater core leaks, make sure you turn your heater control to HOT. Some vehicles have a valve that controls coolant flow through the core.

    another brand that I've had good results with...



    and Q&As from their FAX page...

    If I use AlumAseal will it plug up my radiator, heater core or other parts of the cooling system?

    Absolutely not. Alumaseal is completely safe for all radiators, heater cores, and cooling system parts.

    How long should AlumAseal take to work?

    You should notice the leak slowing within a few minutes after adding the product, but certainly within 200 miles of driving or less, as it takes a while to thoroughly circulate through the cooling system and stop the leak.

    Which product works best, the liquid or powder?

    They work equally well.

    --------------

    I've used stop leaks as temporary fixes numerous times in my 37 years of driving. I've used it in customer vehicles in repair shops that I've worked at. These products can get you over the hump for a short while or sometimes for a long time but they are intended as TEMPORARY fixes. Where I've seen problems is when guys keep adding these products everytime a new leak develops.

    Bottom line is that I wouldn't have a problem telling you to use one of these products as long as you understand it's only putting a bandaid on a bigger problem. If your radiator is beginning to spring leaks it sounds like the effects of thermal expansion and contraction, as well as flexing and stress are beginning to take their toll. My crystal ball shows a new or properly repaired radiator is in your future.
    -Phil


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  15. #15
    Registered Chris142's Avatar
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    Drop the pressure of the radiator cap. You may have a 16 or 18lb cap. Drop it to a 13 or 7 if you can and it will leak much less.



  16. #16
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    Do you guys know that stop leak comes in the radiator from the factory? Gm uses the gm pellets upon assembly. It hurts nothing.

    I dont know about the liquids though...ive always stayed with the pellets you smash up and put in the radiator.
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